PayPal brings bitcoin to the mainstream

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PayPal’s decision to allow customers to hold bitcoin and other virtual currencies in its online wallet and shop using cryptocurrencies sent the value of bitcoin soaring on Wednesday.

Why it matters: With 346 million active accounts around the world and 26 million merchants, PayPal could bring cryptocurrencies into mainstream acceptance.

The big picture: The company hopes the service will prepare its network for new digital currencies that central banks and companies may develop, PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman told Reuters.

  • “We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role,” he said.

Flashback: Square invested $50 million into a block of nearly 5,000 bitcoins earlier this month, with CEO Jack Dorsey saying he believes one day bitcoin will become the world’s “single currency.”

  • The integration of cryptocurrencies into Square’s Cash App has been a particular point of emphasis.



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